Are You Centered?

To be centered is considered desirable. But if there is no person inside your head, if the egoís sense of I, me, mine is illusory, whereís the center? Paradoxically, the center is everywhere. It is the open space that has no boundaries.

Experience isnít a place; itís a focus of attention. You can live there, at the still point around which everything revolves. To be off center is to lose focus, to look away from experience or block it out.

To be centered is like saying ďI want to find my home in creation.Ē You relax into the rhythm of your own life, which sets the stage for meeting yourself at a deeper level. You canít summon the silent witness, but you can place yourself close to it by refusing to get lost in your own creation.

When I find myself being overshadowed by anything, I can fall back on a few simple steps: I say to myself, ďThis situation may be shaking me, but I am more than any situation.Ē I take a deep breath and focus my attention on whatever my body is feeling. I step back and see myself as another person would see me (preferably the person whom I am resisting or reacting to.) I realize that my emotions are not reliable guides to what is permanent and real. They are momentary reactions, and most likely they are born of habit. If I am about to burst out with uncontrollable reactions, I walk away.

As you can see, I donít try to feel better, to be more positive, to come from love, or to change the state Iím in. If you can observe the mechanism at work without getting wrapped up in it, you will find that you possess a second perspective, one that is always calm, alert, detached, tuned in but not overshadowed. That second place is your center. It isnít a place at all but a close encounter with the silent witness.

Adapted from The Book of Secrets, by Deepak Chopra (Harmony Books, 2004).

102 comments

J.L. A.
JL A.3 years ago

worth practicing

Elaine A.
Elaine Al Meqdad4 years ago

Of course! I'm a Libra and balance in my life is a must!

Danuta Watola
Danuta Watola4 years ago

Thanks for posting.

J.L. A.
JL A.4 years ago

nice explanation of centering (vs. balancing)

J.L. A.
JL A.4 years ago

good reminders

heather g.
heather g.4 years ago

Yes - sometimes one needs to walk away from a situation ...

Uma Chernoff
Judith Shafer4 years ago

while we are trapped in response, ruled by exterior forces, feeling compelled to respond no matter what, we are at disadvantage ; we are dragged into situations we didn't originate or have true interest in, and by mentally stepping back, realizing that we have fallen to the temptation of responding and identifying with what we are observing, we are able to remove ourselves, take distance, and consider what we may wish to lend our energy to.

Uma Chernoff
Judith Shafer4 years ago

That's a sophisticated pun Dotie dear. To come to the center of extremes is appropriate. If we can agree that extremes like love and hate are disabling, not useful to handling experience, we can explore the options. Suppose we have a scale with one pole hate and the other love. Moving towards the center there is progressive movement to a neutral stance. For instance with love at one end, and liking ,then tolerating, then ambivalence, and from the hate pole the movement towards the center of revulsion then dislike then ambivalence ,ambivalence is poised in the center between the extremes, it is an uncaring. I think that by coming to this centered perspective our clarity of judgement is enhanced. Also there is this centering of ourselves in the midst of motion when we are perfectly poised and able to move in any direction depending on stimuli . There's nothing " woo woo" about either the usefulness of recognizing the worth of secont attention or Doc Deepak's practical advice about how to come to that focus from any point. It's a simple concept that while we are trapped in response, ruled by exterior forces, feeling compelled to respond no matter what, we are at disadvantage ; we are dragged into situations we didn't originate or have true interest in, and by mentally stepping back, realizing that we have fallen to the temptation of responding and identifying with what we are observing, we are able to remove ourselves, take distance, and consider what we may wish to lend our e

Dot A.
Dot A.4 years ago

what you say
is what you are

Wes Giesbrecht
Past Member 4 years ago

Being a medical doctor doesn't exclude a person from being superstitious.
Deepak is every bit as superstitious as any voodoo or witch doctor from some stone age tribe. Belief in 'super natural beings' and phenomena is superstitious by definition.

I recently had to see a substitute while my regular doctor was out of town.
At one point he said "I feel I should pray for you".
I told him he could go ahead and talk to his invisible friend all he wanted.
What an A-H.